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Hiring Timeline for a Successful Pharmaceutical Commercialization

Successful Pharmaceutical Commercialization Planet Group


For any pharmaceutical company, launching a new drug is an extensive process, and absolutely critical to plan for effectively. According to top industry studies, developing a drug (that gains marketing approval) costs drug developers $2.6 billion on average.On top of this, only 12% of drugs in the commercialization process will make it to the end, which means an entire seven out of eight components in the clinical testing pipeline will fail in development.  Defining a hiring timeline will help you to prepare for this process.



More often than not, the hiring methodology you utilize can make or break the launch. It’s crucial to ensure that the drug commercialization process is completed with strong leadership and talent that can move the project forward successfully at every stage. This is especially true considering the shifting nature of deadlines, investment strategy, and the complexities of timing when it comes to hiring.






Ideal Hiring Timeline



At The Planet Group, we’ve had over 20 years of experience planning and managing successful hiring timelines for pharmaceutical companies. Even though we highly recommend a customized timeline for your specific needs, let’s examine what we’ve found to generally be the best hiring timeline for successful pharmaceutical commercialization.







The process can take up to two years from the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date. While some companies see faster timelines, you can anticipate 18-24 months from the PDUFA date and work on a timeline backward from there.



Before you get started, keep in mind that many organizations begin creating digital communities to build online awareness and credibility while helping the company understand their audience in a cohesive way. This is the time to formulate your digital team prior to developing a commercialization strategy, which can include:



  • Marketers


  • Community Managers


  • Web Developers


  • Social Media Managers


  • Graphic Designers







Once you are 18 months out from the PDUFA date, develop a team to solidify your commercialization strategy. Do this well in advance so you can meet the challenges and complexities of the managed care market. This includes:



  • Chief Commercial Officer


  • Sales Operations team


  • Managed Care team







When you are 12 months away from the PDUFA date, hire Medical Science Liaisons who will create an ecosystem in the medical community for your product. This is crucial considering that 80% of the drugs within clinical development fail. You need to lay the foundations of success for your launch; your commercialization strategy and community ecosystem should be crucial parts of this.







At the point when your team is 4-6 months out, you should hire front line managers that should set the scope for the hiring of delivery teams. You should be aligned with your managers on strategy and communicate the importance of effectively dividing the sales territories. They should be in charge of hiring regional sales managers as well.







As you creep closer to launch time, your team should aggressively initiate the hiring of sales representatives. Ensure that they build a pipeline for the sales process. Don’t be afraid to phase the expansion of your team: hire for the top territories first and expand across your territories from there.



Remember that you should set clear goals and create a project plan that defines roles, responsibilities, and protocols for hiring. Include flexibility for your hiring budget that accounts for hires across the process. Keep your company’s long-term needs and interests in mind, it’s important to hire staff that has a passion for the product and cause.






RPO Success



We’ve seen many pharmaceutical companies utilize recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) for their commercialization launches. This is when a company outsources all or part of its recruitment functions to a third-party provider. It’s a fantastic option for outsourcing your full spectrum of hiring needs such as candidate sourcing, candidate screening, offer execution, interview logistics, compliance, and beyond. When hiring the volume that a pharmaceutical product launch requires, it is typically hard to navigate using internal resources so why not leave it to the experts to do the heavy lifting for you?







Typically when gearing up for commercialization, the bulk of hiring will be direct full-time employees due to the nature of the work. Using an RPO provider, you can utilize enhanced hiring processes and select from a superior industry network to increase the quality of your hires and have talent hired specific to your needs. We have seen major uptake in commercial team build-outs for clinical-stage organizations under our RPO model.







RPO providers like The Planet Group can act as an extension of your organization’s team, expanding your capabilities while providing significant cost savings. Depending on your existing internal structure, this can be a game changer in successful execution of your hiring strategy. On top of this, an RPO provider can leverage their network to help optimize your diversity spend when identifying suitable Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. This means you can focus on your launch while your RPO provider handles the hiring challenges and requirements to ensure a successful product launch.







Pharmaceutical hiring can be a lengthy challenge. That’s why The Planet Group provides different RPO models that are perfect to meet your needs and to the intricacies of commercial drug launch.



With project-based RPO services, you have access to the perfect leadership team for taking on highly specialized pharmaceutical launches. This is ideal for short term hiring with goals within a specific scope and timeline. In the case of our team, we can guide your long-term hiring success with seasoned strategy, expert management, and decades of compliance expertise.






Customized Hiring Timeline


There is a lot riding on every product launch. You’ll be hiring hundreds of individuals for launch, so it’s critical to ramp up your hiring with a company that knows exactly what they’re doing and can create a guided path to success. With over 20 years of dedicated experience, we can work with you to design and execute the ideal hiring timeline perfectly customized to your schedule and needs.



Schedule a no-obligation consultation call with The Planet Group to assess your opportunities and understand the benefits of outsourcing with a workforce solutions expert. We take the time to understand your product and situation to develop a totally tailored hiring timeline and strategy.


Let’s talk about hiring strategy and how to make your product commercialization a success.



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